In more than twenty years of activism, I can honestly say that the anti-gay organization, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), is by far the most immoral, bizarre and dishonest organization I have come across. It is a cynical, homophobic knock-off of the wonderful group, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). It is run by a mother, Regina Griggs, who has rejected her own gay son’s sexual orientation, and urges other parents to do the same.
So much for family values…
PFOX also has this odd strategy, where it fakes or stages hate crimes to make it appear that so-called “ex-gays” are victims. When GLBT people innocently come up to a PFOX booth at an event, the anti-gay activists provoke confrontations, and then, sneaks that they are, call the police to pretend they were harassed or attacked.
In some cases, this batty organization just makes up tales out of thin air. For example, on the group’s blog, it has a story about me with the misleading headline, “Wayne Besen Attacks a Church. “It goes on to identify my as a member of a group, “Bash Back”. PFOX also shows video footage of me supposedly screaming into megaphone directed at a church. I must respond to these perfidious calumnies:
1) The church in question was not “attacked”. This is an outright fabrication. A couple dozen protesters did, however, protest an “ex-gay” meeting in Boston. The action occurred on public property. The police were on-hand and not a single ticket was given, nor was anyone arrested. So, the alleged attack never actually took place, although it makes for a great story if you are a right wing nut who wants to feign persecution. If PFOX has a problem with protests on public property and the First Amendment, the group’s leaders should leave America. Despite PFOX’s best efforts, we are still a free country.
2) Contrary to the PFOX report, I have never been a member of the organization “Bash Back”. I do have a book that I wrote named, “Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics and Culture.” I can only assume PFOX’s Greg Quinlan, Richard Cohen and Regina Griggs conflated the two in a slimy effort to smear me, or they were too obtuse to know the difference between the book and the group. In any case, PFOX ought to do its homework before it issues false and misleading public statements. To do otherwise is unchristian.
3) PFOX identifies me in a video as “the man in the orange shirt holding the bullhorn up against the church’ window to disrupt the ex-gay meeting.” Newsflash: the person in the video with the bullhorn is NOT ME and I have been intentionally misidentified for the purposes of PFOX’s sleazy propaganda. I am proud to say, however, I did take a turn at the bullhorn and led the chant, “Uganda,” to remind Exodus International of its prominent role in the persecution of GLBT citizens in this African country. I am very proud that I stood up for human rights in Boston. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
PFOX is run by lunatics who should be institutionalized. Don’t take my word for it, just take a peak at the video below featuring PFOX’s former President Richard Cohen. Judge for yourself.
Finally, I find it sad that an organization that claims to be Christian has such an easy time bearing false witness. Shame on PFOX for their outright lies and fanciful fiction. Apparently, the work of Truth Wins Out must be having an impact, or they would not feel the urge to resort to such slime and skulduggery.